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Meet Performers in this Weekend’s Concert of Opera’s Greatest Hits

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Dr. Alexis Davis-Hazell serves on the faculty of The University of Alabama School of Music as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies and Assistant Professor of Voice and Lyric Diction. (Provided)

The Birmingham Times

Opera Unveiled: A Concert of Greatest Hits will take place at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theater at Alabama School of Fine Arts on Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 at 2:30 p.m. featuring selections from iconic composers such as Puccini, Verdi, and Mozart.

The concert will showcase some of Alabama’s most beloved artists, including soprano Kathleen Farrar Buccleugh, bass Won Cho, mezzo-soprano Alexis Davis-Hazell, tenors Roderick George and Elias Hendricks III, soprano Allison Sanders, baritone Daniel Seigel, along with a guest artist, soprano Amber Monroe.

Here’s a closer look at a few of talented performers:

For Roderick George click here

For Elias Hendricks III click here

Won Cho, bass

Won Cho is in demand in both concert and operatic repertoire worldwide. (Provided)

Korean-Canadian Bass Won Cho is in demand in both concert and operatic repertoire worldwide thanks to his energetic voice and strong stage presence, appearing with many of the opera houses and orchestras of the U.S., Canada, Europe, The Mid-East, and Asia.

His performances in the last few years took place in Montana, Georgia, California, Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Birmingham, Nashville, Anchorage, Luxembourg, France, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Austria, and his native Korea.

His solo performances in the last few years have been in Turandot with Opera Naples FL, Messiah & Bach’s Magnificat with Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Così fan tutte, Roméo et Juliette, & Madama Butterfly with Opera Tampa, and Roméo et Juliette, Rigoletto, Hamlet, The Magic Flute, and La bohème with Opera Birmingham as well as concerts in Korea, China, Germany, and Italy.

Dr. Cho studied at Manhattan School of Music, Boston University, and University of Memphis. His teaching credentials included Artist-Faculty at Vianden International Music Festival & Nei Stëmmen International Voice Institute in Luxembourg, Assisi International Music Festival, and Yanbian University in China as well as master classes in 8 countries and 10 US States.

Kathleen Buccleugh, soprano

Kathleen Buccleugh is an accomplished artist with a performance history reflecting her versatility in opera, oratorio, musical theatre and art song repertoire. (Provided)

Buccleugh, described as “purely lovely” and “delightfully touching” and praised for her “light, pure tone” and “totally natural” comedic acting, is an accomplished artist with a performance history reflecting her versatility in opera, oratorio, musical theatre and art song repertoire.

In September, she reprised a role that is very special to her, and which she first debuted at Opera Birmingham: Young Alyce in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, an opera about the longest captive American prisoner of war.

Kathleen has also been recently focused on concert work, including Bach’s Coffee Cantata, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio. She has several more concert works coming up on her calendar, including a solo concert that she will tour across the Southeast.

In January, Kathleen covered Anne Sullivan in Opera Birmingham’s world premiere opera, touch. And she was honored to be part of Red Mountain Theatre’s Human Rights New Works Festival, performing in a historically significant and meaningful work: Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963.

Alexis Davis-Hazell, mezzo-soprano

Davis-Hazell is a singing actor of opera, concert and musical theatre repertoire in the Southeast United States.

Her performances in Poulenc’s Dialogue of the Carmelites, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Puccini’s Il Trittico and Verdi’s Aida, have earned accolades for the size and quality of her instrument, and the dramatic intensity she brings to supporting characters.

Alexis’ soloist appearances since contributing to the GRAMMYTM award- winning album Gretchaninov: Passion Week with the Phoenix Chorale include: Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Dvořak Stabat Mater, Duruflé Requiem, Nathaniel Dett The Ordering of Moses and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with orchestras in the southeast and southwest U.S.; the International Alonzo Ortiz Tirado Opera Festival in Sonora, Mexico; a variety of roles with Arizona Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Mississippi Opera, Opera Project Columbus and Cincinnati Opera; and over 130 performances of The Gershwins’ masterwork Porgy and Bess at international venues.

Dr. Davis-Hazell serves on the faculty of The University of Alabama School of Music as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies and Assistant Professor of Voice and Lyric Diction.

Amber Monroe, soprano, guest artist

Amber Monroe is a recent alumna of the Cafritz Young Artists Program with Washington National Opera. (Provided)

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Monroe has been recognized as “a crystalline lyric soprano and a superb singing actress” (Seen and Heard-International). Her 2023-2024 season includes making company debuts with Chattanooga Symphony and Opera singing Mimì in La bohème,  as well as Opera Birmingham singing Nedda in Pagliacci. Monroe then returns to The Glimmerglass Festival summer 2024 as a Guest Artist, reprising the role of Nedda. On the concert stage, she will be a soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria and Margaret Bonds’ The Ballad of the Brown King with the Arlington Chorale, and in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with Lehigh University.

She is a recent alumna of the Cafritz Young Artists Program with Washington National Opera, where she made her Kennedy Center debut as Ines in Il trovatore, followed by Isabelle in Carlos Simon’s The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson, and Mimì in La bohème. In summer of 2023, she joined Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist, covering the Second Wood Sprite in Rusalka.

An enthusiast of contemporary opera, Ms. Monroe originated the role of Clarissa in the world-premiere of Gregory Spears‘ Castor and Patience (Cincinnati Opera) and performed the title role in the Midwest premiere of Nkeiru Okoye’s Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom (Cleveland Opera Theater). She has also workshopped Blue by Jeanine Tesori (The Glimmerglass Festival), and The Hours by Kevin Puts, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera.

Allison Sanders, soprano

Allison Sanders, a Birmingham native, studied at the Curtis Institute of Music where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. (File)

Sanders, a Birmingham native, studied at the Curtis Institute of Music where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. She performed numerous roles with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, some of which include Giovanna (Rigoletto), Clotilde (Norma), Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia), and Flora (La Traviata). She performed the title role in Joplin’s Treemonisha with New York City Opera and performed in The Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with Opera Memphis. Ms. Sanders performed the role of Ruth (The Pirates of Penzance) with Opera Birmingham.

Last year, she performed in the one-woman opera, dwb (driving while black), with Opera Birmingham. She was also a soloist for the World Games 2022 closing ceremony. She has performed numerous orchestral works with The Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Symphony Orchestra, The Chautauqua Orchestra, and the Alabama Symphony. Ms. Sanders works as an adjunct professor at Miles College and Samford University, teaching voice. She is also the music teacher at Cornerstone Elementary School.

 Daniel Seigel, baritone

Seigel received his degree in theatre from Birmingham-Southern College, and his master’s degree in voice and Graduate Performance Diploma in opera from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was in the studio of renowned British bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk.

He has appeared in concert with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, and in Carnegie Hall with the Bloch Sacred Service. Daniel is the winner of the Young Artist Competition for the National Federation of Music Clubs, and subsequently served as the men’s voice chair for 10 years. He has performed with Opera Birmingham, Mobile Opera, Chesapeake Concert Opera, Opera North, and Opera New Jersey, and he currently serves as the chorus master for Opera Birmingham.

Daniel is a native and resident of Birmingham and has taught voice and musical theater locally. He has served on the voice faculty at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY. and is also a professional photographer on the side and runs a successful marriage therapy practice in Birmingham.

For more ticket information for Opera Unveiled: A Concert of Greatest Hits, visit: https://www.operabirmingham.org/opera-unveiled